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A blueprint for growth

Specialist recruitment and outsourced talent services partner Jackson Hogg is known the North East over for helping clients across the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors find their next generation of workers. And with such solid foundations in place, it has now opened an office in Leeds to further bolster its industry presence. With NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance backing, it aims to expand across Germany and the US, and take its 110-plus team to around 500 over the next five years. Here, Colin Young meets recruitment director Fern Couchman and director Matthew Robertson, to discuss the company’s plans in detail.

There’s no place like home.

And not all companies who are successful and comfortable in their surroundings are prepared to venture into new horizons.

For those that do, though, the rewards can be great.

Take specialist recruitment and outsourced talent services partner Jackson Hogg.

A trusted ally to businesses across the region for more than a decade, with its support helping countless firms in the science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors secure highly-skilled staff, the company is on a growth journey.

Alongside its Newcastle headquarters, it recently moved to a larger base in Billingham, near Stockton, and has also opened offices in central Leeds.

And with backing from NPIF-FW Capital Debt Finance – secured with support from WilliamsAli Corporate Finance and FW Capital through the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund – it has its sights on international expansion.

Aiming to extend its expertise into Germany and the US, it also hopes to grow its 110-plus team to around 500 over the next five years while redefining standards across recruitment, HR, Talent Partnerships and training services.

But for all the change, says recruitment director Fern Couchman, it will remain true to its roots.

She says: “The most established part of the company is the Newcastle office, in Cobalt Business Exchange; we’ve got an incredibly strong brand in Newcastle.

“But we still have a remit and market share we’re not fully tapped into, and have an opportunity to grow from a recruitment headcount.

“We’re securing more Talent Partnership conversations, which will facilitate more growth in the Newcastle office, and we’ve literally just moved to the other side of a business park in Teesside.

“Now based in a self-contained building, it’s a fully-fledged home for us and gives us the space to grow into an office for at least 40 heads.

“We’ve got some really passionate Teesside recruiters and specialists, who have fantastic relationships they’ve built with organisations we’ve been working with for a long time.

“It feels like the final piece of the puzzle for the North East.

“There’s so much investment in the Teesside area.”

Fern adds: “We’ve put a lot of legwork into becoming a known entity in Teesside, and it feels like this year will be the year where we become the go-to for the STEM industries, in particular.

“And in Newcastle, in 12 months, we aim to be a fully-fledged regional recruitment set-up, where the growth from that point should be outside of the region.

“We’ve already started to secure some wider conversations with clients spread across the UK, and we’ve secured some exciting conversations in Scotland too.”

As it expands internationally, many of Jackson Hogg’s resources and benefits will be replicated; the introduction of JH Industrial, which connects blue collar manufacturers with the temporary labour market; an executive search function, which has been piloted in Newcastle; and its Talent Partnerships – a model recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) programme.

Director Matthew Robertson says: “As Jackson Hogg grows, we need more Talent Partnerships to support our growth, and we’re looking to do that and secure more across the UK, Europe and overseas in the US.

“As a partner to business, we take away the headache.

“A company might outsource recruitment because they’ve got a big, centralised team, and they say, ‘can you manage all this for us?’

“We are talent and recruitment experts, so we do all that, facilitate other agencies as well, deliver faster and save a company money.”

At the heart of the move to Leeds, Matthew has spent much of his recent time in the firm’s Park Square offices, based in the centre of the city.

He says: “We’re looking to grow a team that is built on international search, and build a regional presence like we have in Newcastle, so we are recognised in the Yorkshire markets.

“We’re looking to heavily grow our blue collar business; that’s a big focal point nationally that will attract new staff, new systems and new capabilities to help people.

“And we’ve brought in some excellent people that have started to open doors there, hiring experts in international search across the STEM sectors.”

Matthew adds: “The people are very similar, so the strengths are there and there’s a talent capability too.

“The North East is a small pool; Leeds and Yorkshire are ten times the size of the North East, so there are more recruiters, more clients and more industry.

“It’s all new to us. It’s all growth.”


To find out more about how your business could benefit from Jackson Hogg’s suite of specialist recruitment and outsourced talent services support, visit www., email [email protected] or call 0191 580 0495.

January 8, 2024

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